Find somewhere calm....


One of the best places for me to mull over a plot point or character, or just simply to clear my head, is to head to Shorne country park. There's nothing quite like fresh air and greenery to blow the cobwebs and search for those eureka moments in unknotting a problem or two in the plot. I use this local country park to run (I use the term loosely, but hey I'm moving), or to take a brisk walk. Stopping to say hello to friendly dogs and their owners. Or see the many mothers and their toddlers in search of ducks or maybe the swings (they have a lovely children's park here too).

Concentrating on my work in hand, it wouldn't be the first time I've got funny looks for talking out-loud to myself as I try to figure out dialogue. Or embarrassingly, being overtaken by a runaway toddler, while concentrating on plot and not PB! It's beautiful here and I've always felt safe, as do other people I've chatted to. It's a popular community amenity and never feels too busy, even in the height of summer. I find it a calm oasis; really inspiring.

That's the thing about writing, it's not only about the confines of your four walls of home. It's finding the just-so spot for you that gives the space to spark off ideas and get out of the rut of familiarity. The seaside is another go to place - somewhere not too busy mind, as I'll be distracted by people watching to do any writing! Another place I found is The Deaf Cat cafe in Rochester, where I can sit, write notes, and sketch out storylines. It has a lovely unique vibe, with art work on the walls. In fact, the cafe inspired me to use the setting in a couple of key scenes in Baby Be Mine, but I'll leave the telling of that for another time!

Cyclists can use designated areas, as can horse riders. For some of the trails, dogs must be kept on a lead. Most of the trails are multi-user so need to be mindful of others, but it all seems to work out ok. All the trails are signposted and mostly well laid out. It can get really muddy and mind the tree roots - it is a forest after all!


A wooden sculpture at Knowles Point.

It's well sign posted and a stone's throw from Cardiac Hill - forest steps on a steep hill that may not be for the fainthearted!

That's not the top of the hill you can see, and it's steeper than it looks. Just sayin' !


Shorne Country Park, off the A2 (Cobham turn off) is well worth a visit. Plenty of parking, has a lovely cafe and seating inside and out. Also a little shop. There are disability scooters (3) available to hire too. You can find out more about Shorne Country Park at Shorne Country Park - kent.gov.uk

#ShorneCountryParkInspiration

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